Team India's unique warm-up session in Centurion


"It's amusing how things change in a matter of weeks, or just about five days".

India captain Virat Kohli says batting first was a "no brainer" and was disappointed to have lost his second toss of the series. But most likely, Rahane may still have to stay out of the XI.

At Wanderers India have an unbeaten record, winning in 2010-11 to share the series 1-1, and drawing the other three, including a freakish finish to a Test which the South Africans should have won, but they chose to settle for a draw, eighth-wicket pair Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn not wanting to take chances, even when they needed eight runs chasing 458. All the Asian teams, let alone India find it well-neigh impossible to win, playing South Africa in South Africa. On arrival at the ground on Thursday afternoon, the Indian players were surprised by the brownish strip, which means there may be a need for a spinner going forward. He went on to add, "We certainly don't go on opinions that are created outside, and talk of the town and all those sort of things".

"He (Rahane) is a quality player".

Mumbai: The one silver lining in India's humiliating defeat by South Africa in Cape Town was the performance of India's fast bowling attack. "You have to maintain composure when you get a sudden change of bounce because here bounce can be steep‚" he said.

"As far as opening combination goes‚ we will decide at the end of the practice what we are going to do in this game. But we made a decision to go with this combination and current form was definitely the criterion", added Kohli.

The wicket promises ample pace and bounce, but doesn't have as much green grass unlike the Newlands' wicket, reckons Kohli.

"India at times were really good in that first Test match", said du Plessis.

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The pitch at Supersport Park, Centurion, is expected to be another lively surface as the groundsman Brayan Bloy said that South African team management asked them to prepare a track with a lot of bounce and movement.

"Ultimately, especially in this series and for the rest of the summer, we will be looking to see how best we can fit four fast bowlers into whatever formula we come up with".

Having said that, one must understand that adjustment to higher bounce is easier for bowlers than for batsmen.

Pandya and Ashwin were batting at No. 7 and 8 respectively, which suggests India have enough depth in their batting order - if their top-order players can get themselves through the new ball. "We have a forced change".

"It can also be steep from length balls".

One of the biggest issues India are facing ahead of the game is whether or not to bring back Ajinkya Rahane, one of the best Indian batsmen on the road in the last few years.

Didn't the batting need a shake up after the two collapses?